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Top 5 Discount Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

Top 5 Discount Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

Tokyo 2019.09.22 Bookmark

While the Japan Rail Pass can only be used on JR lines, there are several discount tickets issued by other railway companies that are just as convenient. Use these tickets to travel inexpensively to areas of Japan that you'd miss out otherwise!

Written by MATCHA_En

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Discount Travel Passes You Should Know About

Many visitors to Japan use the Japan Rail Pass, the convenient 7-day, 14-day or 21-day ticket that allows unlimited travel using the JR lines, including the Shinkansen and limited express lines.

However, this pass can only be used on the JR lines, which exclude Tokyo Metro and other railways that serve central Tokyo and other areas. This means you are missing out on many stunning places in Japan that could be easily reached using other railways. Moreover, the JR Pass can be purchased only from overseas and cannot be used by foreign residents in Japan.

We introduce here five discount transportation passes that make travel in Japan very convenient and affordable. In addition to being available for purchase in Japan, most of them can also be used by foreign residents.

1. JR TOKYO Wide Pass - Travel 3 Days for only 10,000 Yen!
2. NIKKO PASS - 4-day Nikko Trip for less than 5,000 Yen!
3. Hakone Freepass - 2 Days for less than 6,000 Yen around Hakone!
4. Seibu 1Day Pass - Travel to Kawagoe and Chichibu for 1,000 a Day!
5. Tokyo Subway Ticket - Less than 1,000 yen/Day! Travel Efficiently by Subway

1. JR TOKYO Wide Pass - Travel 3 Days for only 10,000 Yen!

5 Discounted Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

The JR TOKYO Wide Pass is a discounted 3-day ticket priced at 10,000 yen issued by JR EAST. This ticket can be used only by non-Japanese individuals (travelers or residents) provided they possess a foreign passport.

The JR TOKYO Wide Pass can be used on all the JR EAST lines, including Shinkansen and limited express trains, in Tokyo, Saitama, Tochigi, Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Nagano, and Yamanashi. Holders of this pass can reserve their seats for bullet-trains or limited express trains for no additional fee at any Midori no Madoguchi JR ticket office or online.

5 Discounted Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

Yokohama

Use this ticket to travel for three days around Tokyo to places like Nikko, which is famous for its World Heritage sites, the GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort, and the Yatsugatake Mountains. The pass is also applicable for trips to Minakami Onsen in Gunma, Kofu, which is famous for its wineries, Mt. Fuji, Yokohama, Kamakura, and other beautiful places!

JR TOKYO Wide Pass
Valid: 3 consecutive days
Area: JR lines in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures (Saitama, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Yamanashi, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Chiba).
Price: 10,000 yen
Requirements: can be purchased only by holders of a foreign passport.
Where to buy: The JR TOKYO Wide Pass can be purchased at any JR EAST Travel Service Center in the Tokyo area (Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, Shinjuku Station, and others)
Official website: https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/tokyowidepass/

Bonus! JR EAST PASS - Travel to Northern Japan

5 Discounted Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

Picture from 6 Picture Perfect Spots In Yamagata And Niigata - Take Miraculous Photos!

The JR EAST PASS is an excellent ticket if you want to travel for a few days in northern Japan.

It exists in two variants: JR EAST PASS (Tohoku Area), which can be used to travel to Sendai, Aomori, Yamagata, and Akita, and JR EAST PASS (Nagano and Niigata Area), which can be used to travel around Nagano and Niigata.

The great thing about the JR EAST PASS is that it can also be used on the JR buses within the designated area. This means you have greater mobility and can even reach remote areas that are not served by railways.

For model itineraries using the JR EAST PASS, check our special page on travel in Yamagata and Niigata.

JR EAST PASS (Tohoku Area)

Validity: any 5 days within 14 days since purchase
Area: JR lines in Tokyo, Miyagi, Fukushima, Akita, Yamagata, Aomori.
Price: Adults 20,000 yen, Children 10,000 yen (*the price will be discounted if purchased from overseas)
Requirements: can be purchased only by holders of a foreign passport.
Where to buy: The JR EAST PASS can be purchased at any JR EAST Travel Service Center in the Tokyo area (Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, Shinjuku Station, and others)
Official website: https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_t/

JR EAST PASS (Nagano and Niigata Area)

Validity: any 5 days within 14 days since purchase
Area: JR lines in Tokyo, Nagano, Niigata.
Price: Adults 18,000 yen, Children 9,000 yen (*the price will be discounted if purchased from overseas)
Requirements: can be purchased only by holders of a foreign passport.
Where to buy: The JR EAST PASS can be purchased at any JR EAST Travel Service Center in the Tokyo area (Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, Shinjuku Station, and others)
Official website: https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_n/

2. NIKKO PASS - 4-day Nikko Trip for less than 5,000 Yen!

5 Discounted Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls in Nikko. Picture courtesy of Pixta

Nikko, famous for World Heritage sites such as Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Rinnoji Temple, is one of the most popular travel destinations near Tokyo.

The NIKKO PASS issued by Tobu Railway is the most convenient ticket to travel to and around Nikko. This ticket is available in two versions:

1) The NIKKO PASS All Area, priced at 4,520 yen, is a 4-day ticket that includes a round trip from Tokyo to Nikko, unlimited train and bus rides in the Nikko - Yumoto Onsen - Chuzenji Onsen - Kinugawa Onsen, as well as the fare for a ferry cruise on Lake Chuzenji and for a roundtrip ride on the Akechidaira Ropeway.

2) The NIKKO PASS World Heritage Area, priced at 2,000 yen, is a 2-day ticket that includes a round trip from Tokyo to Nikko and unlimited bus rides in the World Heritage area of Nikko City.

Please note that, if you plan to travel to Nikko riding a limited express train, you'll need to buy a separate seat reservation ticket, which is not covered by the NIKKO PASS. However, if you use regular trains and express trains, no additional fee will ensue. Please check the official website of Tobu Railway for details.

NIKKO PASS All Area

Validity: 4 consecutive days
Area: Tokyo - Nikko roundtrip, trains, buses, and ropeway in Nikko, Chuzenji Onsen, Yumoto Onsen, and Kinugawa Onsen; ferry cruise on Lake Chuzenji.
Price:
April 20 to November 30: Adults 4,520 yen, Children 1,150 yen
December 1 to April 19: Adults 4,150 yen, Children 1,040 yen
Requirements: can be purchased only by holders of a foreign passport.
Where to buy: TOBU Tourist Information Center ASAKUSA, TOBU Tourist Information Center IKEBUKURO
Official website: http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/en/pass/all.html

NIKKO PASS world heritage area

Validity: 2 days
Area: Tokyo - Nikko roundtrip, trains and buses in Nikko City.
Price: Adults 2,000 yen, Children 600 yen
Requirements: can be purchased only by holders of a foreign passport.
Where to buy: TOBU Tourist Information Center ASAKUSA, TOBU Tourist Information Center IKEBUKURO
Official website: http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/en/pass/twoday.html

3. Hakone Freepass - 2 Days for less than 6,000 Yen around Hakone!

5 Discounted Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

Picture courtesy of Pixta

Hakone Freepass is the most convenient ticket to use for traveling to and around Hakone, which is served only by Odakyu Railway.

Hakone Freepass is valid for two days and is priced at 5,700 yen for adults and 1,500 for children.

It can be used on all the trains from Tokyo (Shinjuku Station) to Hakone and back, including the limited express Romancecar (*1), as well as on the Hakone Tozan train, bus, and ropeway lines within Hakone.

*1 From Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto, a one-way limited express ticket is 1,090 yen.

Taking into account the distance from Tokyo to Hakone and the fact that no other railways operate in the area, using the Hakone Freepass is definitely the smartest way to travel to Hakone.

Hakone Freepass

Validity: 2 days
Area: all the Odakyu trains, buses and ropeway lines from Shinjuku Station to Hakone.
Price: Adults 5,700 yen, Children 1,500 yen
Requirements: none
Where to buy: Odakyu Sightseeing Service Centers (Shinjuku Station, Odawara Station, a.o.), Odakyu ticket vending machines
Official website: https://www.odakyu.jp/english/passes/hakone/

4. Seibu 1Day Pass - Travel to Kawagoe and Chichibu for 1,000 a Day!

5 Discounted Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

Picture courtesy of Pixta

If you plan to visit Kawagoe or the picturesque Chichibu area in Saitama Prefecture, consider using the Seibu 1Day Pass, a discounted ticket issued by Seibu Railway. For only 1,000 yen, you get to travel from Tokyo to your destination of choice in Saitama!

The ticket is available in a two-day version as the Seibu 2Day Pass for 2,000 yen, which is a real bargain if you think that this is all that you spend on transportation while enjoying a hot spring stay in Chichibu, for instance.

The Seibu 1Day Pass + Nagatoro (1,500 yen) and the Seibu 2Day Pass + Nagatoro (3,000 yen) include the Nagatoro area in Saitama, which is served by the Chichibu Line. Nagatoro is famous as a destination for traditional whitewater rafting, as well as for its fascinating shrines and temples.

No matter which version of this ticket you use, you'll surely have a great time in Kawagoe, Chichibu or Nagatoro while spending a minimum sum on transportation.

Seibu 1Day Pass

Validity: 1 day
Area: all the Seibu line trains in Tokyo and Saitama
Price: 1,000 yen
Requirements: can be used only on the day it was purchased
Where to buy: SEIBU Tourist Information Center Ikebukuro, Seibu Shinjuku Station ticket counter
Official website: https://www.seiburailway.jp/railways/tourist/english/ticket/daypass.html

5. Tokyo Subway Ticket - Less than 1,000 yen/Day! Travel Efficiently by Subway

5 Discounted Passes For Tokyo Day Trips

Picture courtesy of Pixta
The Tokyo Subway Ticket is your convenient pass for the underground railways in Tokyo, namely Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. These two networks are two separate entities, which means that it's more convenient moneywise to move around using just one of the networks than using both.

However, the Tokyo Subway Ticket is the only ticket that can be used on both Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway at a discount price. The ticket exists in three variants:
- Tokyo Subway 24-hour Ticket (Adult: 800 yen, Child: 400 yen)
- Tokyo Subway 48-hour Ticket (Adult: 1,200 yen, Child: 600 yen)
- Tokyo Subway 72-hour Ticket (Adult: 1,500 yen, Child: 750 yen)

If you stick to the underground train lines and use this ticket to travel around Tokyo, you'll be saving a lot of money on transportation.

As an additional tip, central Tokyo is better served by underground lines than surface train lines for the simple reason that this area is full of historical buildings, wide parks of historical importance, and waterways. The Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo SKYTREE, and other must-see destinations in Tokyo are more easily accessible by subway. To distinguish between surface and underground railways, please refer to the article below.

Tokyo Subway Ticket

Validity: 1 day, 2 days or 3 days
Area: all the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines
Price: 800 yen (valid for 24 hours), 1,200 yen (valid for 48 hours), 1,500 yen (valid for 72 hours)
Requirements: can be purchased only by holders of a foreign passport.
Where to buy: Tokyo Metro stations, Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, overseas travel agencies
Official website: https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/ticket/travel/index.html

Use Discounted Ticket to Make the Most out of Your Tokyo Trip!

Many places that are worth visiting in Japan cannot be reached using only the Japan Rail Pass. We strongly recommend using it in combination with discounted tickets issued by other railway companies. This way, you get to discover new sides of Japan and create invaluable travel memories.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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